April 20, 2017 | Zoetermeer (NL)

Rotterdam Zoo aims for higher employee engagement with ORTEC

A day at the zoo is fun for all ages, whether watching the clumsy penguins waddle around, or ooo-ing and aah-ing at a newborn rhinoceros. As a visitor, you might not realize it, but organizing an unforgettable day at the zoo requires a lot of complex coordination. This includes staff planning: scheduling the right people in the right place at the right time.


We are therefore proud to announce that Rotterdam Zoo has chosen ORTEC as a partner. Blijdorp aims to increase employee engagement and bring personnel costs under control. ORTEC Workforce Scheduling is an important link in this organizational change. We asked Rotterdam Zoo’s Public Service Manager, Frithjof de Waard, three questions about their collaboration with ORTEC. 

What was the reason behind the change? 


“Within the Visitors’ Service cluster, we had a flexible layer of 92% in 2016. We want to reduce that to 50%. We have noticed that employee engagement is very low, and that was reflected in our corporate results. It also took a lot of time to train the flexible staff and to inform them about the goings-on in the zoo. By insourcing more of our personnel, we will be able to control our personnel costs while improving employee engagement.” 

Which features of ORTEC appealed to you the most? 

“We want the employees to be responsible for entering their own hours. The ORTEC Workforce Scheduling approval module makes that possible. We also wanted an app that the employees could use to view their schedules and let us know when they are available to work. That flexibility really comes in handy.” 

What do you feel is the added value of applied mathematics? 

“At the moment, we are working on modernizing our organization. By professionalizing personnel scheduling with the applied mathematics that ORTEC’s solutions offer, our whole organization can benefit. One of our main requirements was to be able to react to staffing needs in real-time. For example, say we have scheduled extra personnel because the weather forecast predicts a sunny day, but this is the Netherlands, so it rains anyway. In that case, ORTEC’s smart algorithms allow us to react in real-time in order to optimally adapt our staffing levels to the number of visitors in the park.” 

We look forward to a long and fruitful collaboration with Rotterdam Zoo! Read more about our Workforce solutions here.